The Wizards enter Thursday night's draft lottery with the ninth-best odds, which offers them a 4.5% chance at the No. 1 pick and a 20.2% chance of picking in the top four. Head coach Scott Brooks, though, will be at peace with wherever they select.
That is because he's been through the experience many times before, and also because he trusts the Wizards' front office after what they accomplished last year, taking Rui Hachimura ninth overall. They had the sixth-best odds entering the 2019 lottery and fell three spots in what was basically a worst-case scenario.
But they got Hachimura, and he has already proven to be a nice find.
"Even if we don’t move up, look at what happened to us last year. We actually moved down and landed us an impact player in Rui. Thank goodness that we did move back because his ability on our roster has been a big addition to our club. It would be nice to move up, but wherever we land, we’re going to end up getting a really good player," Brooks said.
Hachimura had one of the best rookie seasons for a Wizards player in decades and could end up making the All-Rookie team this offseason. Though he was picked ninth, he has so far outperformed several players taken ahead of him.
If the Wizards jump up into the top-four, they may get a shot at one of the draft's best prospects like James Wiseman (Memphis), Anthony Edwards (Georgia), LaMelo Ball (Illawarra) or Tyrese Haliburton (Iowa State). If they pick ninth or later (79.8% chance), they will likely be considering players like Onyeka Okongwu (USC), Isaac Okoro (Auburn), Killian Hayes (France) and Obi Toppin (Dayton).
Boosting Brooks' argument is the fact this year's class does not have a defined top tier like most drafts do. There are no Zion Williamson or Ja Morant-type players projected to be picked first and second overall. The gap between picking fourth and ninth may not be as large as it is in most years.
Brooks is also lumping the draft into the Wizards' offseason as a whole and taking solace in the fact that, no matter what, they will have an impact player joining them once John Wall comes back from his Achilles rehab.
"I look at it differently, that we’re really getting two big-time players in this year’s draft; the pick and John Wall," Brooks said. "You couldn’t ask for a better situation going into next season to have one big-time player who’s one of the best in the league, and I’ve seen the work that he’s put in and he’s definitely going to be back to where he once was."
Brooks is taking a glass half-full approach in preparation for the lottery. Still, he would prefer to have luck on the Wizards' side.